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League of Women Voters of Boulder County
Empowering Voters. Defending Democracy
Serving the People of Boulder County, Colorado

News / Articles

RCV Gets Most of the Attention, But Also Some Backlash

Celeste Landry of the Voting Methods Team | Published on 5/6/2023
Voting Methods Team

A sample ranked (RCV) ballot


Ranked Choice Voting” gets most of the attention when it comes to voting methods, including in Colorado.  This fall Boulder and Broomfield – and, starting in 2025, Fort Collins – will use the single-winner Instant-Runoff Voting (IRV) form of RCV.  Denver’s recent 17-candidate mayoral contest has revived discussions of using a better voting method; the Denver Post published the LWV of Denver’s letter to the editor on April 15th

Not all the attention on RCV is positive, however.  In this article, RCV is referred to as “rigged-choice voting” and banning it is mistakenly called a victory for election integrity.

No voting method is perfect, but all the serious alternatives are better than our traditional Plurality method.  Unfortunately, not everyone agrees.  RCV has become the target of several challenges.  

Alaskans who are unhappy about the results of their special congressional IRV election in 2022 are proposing going back to Plurality, and governors signed Idaho’s House Bill 179 and South Dakota’s Senate Bill 55 to ban RCV.  

Bills that proposed banning RCV and another voting method were fortunately vetoed by governors:   Arizona’s House Bill 2552 would have banned everything except Plurality, and North Dakota’s House Bill 1273 would have banned RCV (not used in ND) and Approval Voting (used in Fargo). 

Not surprisingly, as interest in better voting methods grows, so does the backlash.